Indy – Franchitti Gets Win, Championship Tie On Father’s Day At Milwaukee

June 20, 2011

Indy

Dario Franchitti inherited the race lead on Lap 200 when Helio Castroneves had to guide the No. 3 Guidepoint Systems Team Penske car into the pits for a quick change of a tire losing pressure and went on to 1.4271-second victory in the Milwaukee 225 at the Milwaukee Mile.

“That was a hell of a run today,” said Franchitti, who tied Rick Mears with 29 victories  (ninth on the all-time list). “The first part of the race I thought I had a bit of an advantage on everybody. Very tough, as usual here. Tough on your own just balancing the car, but then you get in traffic and it gets really difficult. It’s the same for everyone.

“Then Tony (Kanaan) came marching along and he looked really, really strong, and he gave me a hard time as usual. Great day. To win here at Milwaukee is always special. It’s such hard work and a such a hard race. It’s a delight for the Target Team and we got the Downy colors in Victory Lane.”

Graham Rahal finished second and Oriol Servia recorded a season-high third place. Will Power advanced from the 17th starting position (a season low) to finish fourth and Danica Patrick posted her first top five of the season.

Franchitti, by virtue of three bonus points for earning the PEAK Performance Pole Award and leading the most laps, tied Power for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship points lead heading into the race under the lights at Iowa Speedway on June 25.

“A couple double file restarts were good for me, a couple were bad,” Power said. “I’m pretty happy to get the Verizon car up there. I guess we are equal on points now. Good job by Dario.  He came back after Texas to teach us a lesson, so I guess we will have to be quick at Iowa.

“We just have to keep fighting away, keep having good days like this and make no mistakes and we’ll be good.”

Also of June 19, Esteban Guerrieri led every lap to win the David Hobbs 100 Firestone Indy Lights race. Guerrieri led teammate Josef Newgarden across the start-finish line by 5.5012 seconds in becoming the fourth different winner in five races. He also closed the championship points gap on the front-running Newgarden to 14 entering the Sukup 100 at the Iowa Speedway on June 25.

Jorge Goncalvez advanced from the seventh starting position to finish third in the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing Special — his first podium and the team’s first.

Bryan Clauson overtook the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car of Gustavo Yacaman on Lap 87 to finish fourth. Clauson, competing in his second Firestone Indy Lights race, qualified third in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car on a busy day at the track for the Noblesville, Ind., resident.

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